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Indian Single Sky Harmonized Air Traffic Management (ISHAN) initiative

3rd May, 2024 Economy

Indian Single Sky Harmonized Air Traffic Management (ISHAN) initiative

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  • India has initiated the process of consolidating its four airspace regions into a single entity spanning the entire nation, in order to refine and strengthen air traffic management (ATM).


  • The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has called for expressions of interest to prepare a detailed project report for the Indian Single Sky Harmonized Air Traffic Management (ISHAN) initiative, centered in Nagpur.
  • This consolidation is expected to streamline operations, enhance capacity, and alleviate congestion, benefiting both airlines and passengers.

What's the arrangement at present?

  • Currently, Indian airspace is divided into four flight information regions (FIRs) and a sub-FIR, each managed separately.
  • Unifying these FIRs under a single authority in Nagpur is projected to improve efficiency, safety, and seamlessness in air traffic operations.


  • The move comes amidst a significant surge in aviation industry growth, with domestic passenger traffic expected to double by 2030.
  • While the benefits of ISHAN are clear—seamless operations, reduced congestion, increased capacity, efficient routing, and reduced flight times—achieving them poses challenges. Implementing uniform technology, revising processes, retraining staff, and formulating policies require time and investment.
  • ISHAN will centralise coordination for domestic flights flying above 25,000 ft in Nagpur, redistributing responsibilities of regional controllers.
  • This model mirrors existing practices in Chennai and Kolkata, offering a macroscopic view of air traffic flow and emergencies nationwide.
  • It promises greater routing flexibility, decreased travel time, fuel consumption, and workload for controllers.


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